The Irish Language.The Irish language, which is also known as Irish Gaelic, was traditionally the language spoken by the people living in Ireland. It is in the Indo-European language family, and is a close relative of both Scottish Gaelic and Manx, the language of the Isle of Man. Although Irish Gaelic was the predominant language in Ireland for most of its recorded history, it is now spoken as a first language by a very small minority of the population. However, it is widely studies in schools and is spoken and understood as a second language by a much larger segment of the population. Despite this, it is recognized as the national and first official language of the Republic of Ireland. Irish Gaelic is also an official language of the European Union, and is recognized as an official minority language in Northern Ireland.
The Irish language is an integral part of Irish history and culture. The oldest recorded writings in Irish Gaelic date back to 400 AD. It continued to be the dominant language of the Irish people until its decline in the 18th century. Severe restrictions were placed on the usage of the Irish language by the ruling English. The use of the language continued to decline throughout the 19th century. Native speakers were lost in droves during the Great Famine of 1845-1849, in which Gaelic speaking populations were hit particularly hard. In addition, many more speakers were lost due to immigration. A revival of the language began in the late 19th century. When Ireland gained independence as a nation, the Irish language was once again elevated to official status. Irish is now a compulsory subject in all schools which receive public funding.
Irish Gaelic is an interesting topic of study for many people outside of the Republic of Ireland who want to learn more about Irish history and culture, especially the millions of people of Irish decent living outside of Ireland today. Many tools exist which can help a person to study the language. For example, google translate can help to translate documents from Irish to English, or vice versa. This tool, along with the use of a good English to Irish dictionary, can help a person attempting to translate a document. Translation from one language to the other is a useful way to check if the grammar and vocabulary that one is practicing is correct.